Be Regional Differences What They May, Yankee Republicans Must Be Made to See Their Own Drift
To be sure, Jon Scott doesn’t articulate anything that followers of the intra-Republican debate ’round here haven’t heard, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t treading precarious ground:
“New Yankee Republicans” are fiscally conservative, believe in our nation and our troops but have little passion for social issues. “Live and let live… just don’t make me pay for it,” they say. “Leave us alone to make choices for our families, our businesses and our faith.” These voters lie dormant because they rarely have candidates who reflect their beliefs.
That’s not to say that a candidate who is pro-life shouldn’t say so. The best message is one that a candidate can say with conviction. But in an area whose history is woven with rugged individualism, the focus must be on a strong message of liberty.
From where I sit, the area’s “rugged individualism” is in need of repeated defibrillation. Even New England libertarianism has the taint of desiring to be left alone… to collect government largess in peace or to guard collected wealth against economic challenge. Similarly, practitioners have “little passion for social issues” because they’re protecting either the public trickle that leftists have lured them to suckle or their own private indulgences. (I don’t mean to implicate Jon, specifically, in any of this.)
What promoters of the “moderate” vision of Northeastern Republicanism fail to incorporate into their political philosophies is the Rip Van Winkle snooze into which our society has been lulled by liberals’ perversion of the concept of liberty — allowing, encouraging, skin-deep pleasures as an opiate to anesthetize against the crushing of soul-deep rights.
In order for a Republican or (more broadly) right-of-center coalition to function, “New Yankee Republicans” have to acknowledge that the seat of individual liberty is currently to the society’s right, and that it isn’t sufficient to ignore social issues, allowing the Democrats to heave them left. The result of such attempts was evident in Lincoln Chafee and will likely be the downfall of the Moderate Party: The effort to prove disinterest in “imposing our will” when it comes to social issues will translate into acceptance of liberals’ imposition of theirs.